The Four Seasons in Limassol, Cyprus has been open since 1993 and is independently owned and operated by Muskita Hotels Ltd. It’s a Five Star deluxe property with 304 rooms, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, and extensive conference facilities, Shiseido Spa, a full range of sports and fitness facilities and a shopping area with exclusive boutiques, watches and jewelry. The Hotel is situated on its own sandy beach, which has been awarded with the Blue Flag (a symbol of cleanliness and safety awarded by the European Community) and is 8 kilometers East of Limassol city center.
The Four Seasons’ management is constantly looking for effective ways to build strong relations with its customers and optimize sales programs. The Hotel’s website is its important marketing tool that helps the property to attract and retain elite guests from all over the World.
Mr. Nick Aristou, the property’s Executive Director, decided to enhance the website with an online business chat solution. “Our objective was to make it easy for our customers to navigate the website,” says Mr. Aristou. “Also, we wanted to convert as many visitors into customers as possible by making it easy for them to complete bookings.”
Mr. Aristou, who has a strong technology background, did a thorough review of available products, including such market leaders as LivePerson. However, none of them matched Four Season’s specific needs. The main limitations were the lack of multilingual support, patchy compatibility with tablet users and absence of robust archival features.
Then Mr. Aristou came across LiveWebAssist, a chat solution deployed on the IceWarp site, and realized it was the perfect match. He decided to try it out on the Four Season’s site, but then found out it was not the final release yet. Still, Mr. Aristou went ahead and launched LiveWebAssist at Four Seasons’ webpage, assigning three operators to interact with customers.
From the very beginning, the Four Season’s customer service team was making the most of LiveWebAssist’s multilingual interface and Knowledgebase support features to interact with customers in English, Greek and Russian.. The property’s sales and marketing team started to see LiveWebAssist’s effect almost immediately – the bookings increased.
“LiveWebAssist contributed a lot to this on many occasions,” says Mr. Aristou. “Our analysis showed that customers booked because they were given real-time explanations through the chat service.”
Four Season’s technology team also liked LiveWebAssist’s capability to recognize returning Website visitors.
“The excellent feature helps an operator to resume the conversation from the same spot where it was ended or interrupted,” says Mr. Aristou. “That makes users spend on average 7-8 minutes on the site, a very high indicator.”
In an approach radically different form other chat products, LiveWebAsisst supports the InLine no-flash chat architecture, eliminating pop-up windows. This design allows more visitors to initiate chat sessions, because they don’t have to deal with popup blockers and assures usability for visitors from tablets like iPad or Android.
Additionally, this option gives actionable information about the visitors’ behavior.
“The operators can tell exactly where the user is on the site, so they can offer them immediate assistance, tell them where to go and answer questions with a high degree of relevancy,” says Mr. Aristou. “It’s a very useful feature.”
LiveWebAssist’s analytical capabilities helped the hotel to optimize its Internet marketing strategy.
“LiveWebAssist analytics capabilities are very good,” notes Mr. Aristou. “They are helping us to locate sources our customers are coming from. It’s a very effective tool, especially when used in conjunction with Google analytics.”
Another feature Four Seasons’ team found practical is LiveWebAssist Knowledgebase. At any point of the conversation, it allows to insert pre-approved messages (such as terms and conditions, cancellation policy, etc.) as well as URLs and graphics with a single click.
“It has been very useful, we have almost three pages of knowledgebase content now,” notes Mr. Aristou. “The option provides more professional outlook and helps to standardize responses. Operators don’t have to think about how to phrase them. In the near future, we are planning to extend the knowledgebase with images and, possibly, videos.”
According to Four Seasons’ technology team estimates, the training and ramp-up process was painless.
“The functionality of the program is simple, anybody who can use a social chat program can get accustomed to LiveWebAssist very easily,” notes Mr. Aristou.
For the support function, Four Seasons team used LiveWebAssist Direct Chat Technology, the VIP connection that gives dedicated access to key IceWarp support personnel. This option makes it possible to reach the important contacts no matter where they are – at their desktop, off-site, or on the road.
“The VIP link option has been very useful, and IceWarp support team was very prompt,” says Mr. Aristou.
Four Seasons is now planning to expand LiveWebAssist functionality.
“We are considered using it on mobile devices, and, possibly, integrating the solution with a new CRM system,” says Mr. Aristou.
In the future, the property is thinking about hiring more operators and starting to use LiveWebAssist automated translation functionality.
According to Mr. Aristou’s estimates, LiveWebAssist was showing compelling ROI from the day it was implemented.
“Just from my own observation, from the number of bookings that have been converted directly through LiveWebAssist, I can say that it has paid for itself almost immediately” says Mr. Aristou he would definitely recommend LiveWebAssist to other organizations in the hospitality industry.
“Selling hotel rooms is always a complex matter,” says Mr. Aristou. “Usually, hotel bookings for five+ star hotels are a very high-value item. It’s not a $10-20 purchase from Amazon. They are usually $5,000-6,000 per transactionand there are many issues for potential customers to understand before they actually commit to book. Anything that can give a customer greater confidence and prompt him to make a decision to buy is very valuable. LiveWebAssist gives us exactly that.”
Queensland-based technology firm Atmail has implemented a relationship business management solution from US company Zuora to manage its customer growth.
Atmail pioneered one of the first commercial webmail applications in 1998 and now offers email and collaboration solutions to thousands of service providers and enterprises globally. "We are constantly on the lookout for new, emerging technologies as this improves our way to interact and communicate," said Atmail CEO Zach Johnson.
"Ultimately, we'll now be rapidly turning inbound leads into sales on each and every occasion," Johnson said. "Useful features include the generation of PDF invoices and email communications related to payment cycles which will improve business processes by reducing manual task and follow up. Email alerts and reminders for renewals supports will support the sales process and improve customer service."
Hong Kong outsourcer PCCW Teleservices has won four awards at the 2014 ContactCenterWorld Asia Pacific Top Ranking Performers Conference.
PCCW Teleservices won the gold medal award for Best In Customer Service (Outsourced); silver medal awards for Best Contact Center (Outsourced) and Best Help Desk respectively, and the bronze medal award for Best Contact Center Executive / Director. "We are excited to have shared our best practices in four categories and won awards in all those categories in this year's ContactCenterWorld Awards, and are grateful to have been able to demonstrate our quality of service in this forum," said Head of PCCW Teleservices International Tony Bruno.
PCCW Teleservices is an operating subsidiary of HKT, Hong Kong's main telecommunications service provider which is majority-owned by PCCW Limited. ContactCenterWorld is a global association for contact center best practices and networking.
Zuora powers Atmail's new subscription experience by enabling the company to provide flexible and tailored pricing & packaging, seamlessly roll out promotions, streamline new customer acquisition, and measure the health of their customer relationships
Sydney, 29 July 2014 – Zuora, the global leader in subscription billing, commerce and finance, has announced that Australian-headquartered Atmail, one of the world's leading messaging platform for mission critical deployments, has leveraged Zuora's Relationship Business Management solution, Z-Business, to rapidly scale as its businesses and customer volumes grow.
Headquartered in Queensland, Atmail is one of Australia's most successful technology companies. The company pioneered one of the first commercial webmail applications in 1998 and has been an innovator in the email industry ever since. The company's cloud billings have increased by 900 per cent in the past 12 months. Offering email and collaboration solutions to thousands of service providers and enterprises globally, Atmail supports tens of millions of paid mailboxes around the clock.
One year ago, Atmail migrated from a perpetual license sales model to a subscription SaaS platform and assessed what it required from an e-commerce and billing platform. Atmail's customers were demanding a new subscription experience in which they could rapidly sign up for the service, manage their subscription plans and be billed on a monthly basis. Furthermore, Atmail was looking for a solution that could enable them to forge more intimate, ongoing relationships with its customers along their subscription journey and to measure the health of those business relationships. Zuora's Relationship Business Management solution met those requirements.
"We are constantly on the lookout for new, emerging technologies as this improves our way to interact and communicate. Previously, we had been handicapped by being unable to change pricing, manage recurring billing, invoice in multi-currency options and roll-out marketing promotions in a timely fashion. What we required was a platform which would enable the business to transition from an annual, upfront billing cycle to monthly billing which in fact was what our customers were demanding," said Zach Johnson, CEO, Atmail.
"What appealed to us about Zuora was that the company had essentially been built for addressing the business issues we were facing – providing e-commerce functionality for a fast growing business rapidly on-boarding new clients and requiring predictable recurring revenue models. At the same time, we also appreciated Zuora's historic relationship with salesforce.com
From a broader perspective, today's consumers are more informed and demanding by an order of magnitude. They have the world's store of knowledge at their fingertips. They expect ongoing value and unique experiences as part of their Subscription Experience. And they're not as interested in methods as they are outcomes. Zuora is at the forefront of helping innovative companies like Atmail deliver these consumers a personalized, instantly accessible service featuring the latest available intelligence and functionality.
Zuora is now being deployed to underpin Atmail's strategy in providing consumers with a tailored product and pricing plan which can be easily and flexibly created. For example, Atmail's SaaS Cloud offering can be priced with a minimum monthly fee with included usage and additional billable usage. These features were not previously available. In addition, Zuora's ability to price and invoice monthly is expected to improve customer acceptance.
Another major benefit is Zuora's PCI-complaint platform which will allow Atmail to rapidly onboard customers through facilitating the placing of orders directly with Atmail's storefront via self-service functionality. Customers requiring product bundling and customised quoting will also be managed through Zuora enabling Atmail to unlock its product catalogue and allow it to quote and sell software functionality at a component level.
The ability to revise pricing and packaging in Zuora also allows Atmail to adapt and grow with the market. Atmail will simply be able to create offers in Salesforce bundling multiple products and rate plans corresponding to specific promotional campaigns and offerings.
"Ultimately, we'll now be rapidly turning inbound leads into sales on each and every occasion. Useful features include the generation of PDF invoices and email communications related to payment cycles which will improve business processes by reducing manual task and follow up. Email alerts and reminders for renewals supports will support the sales process and improve customer service," said Johnson.
Last month, Atmail's first payment run was readily executed 30 days after the first account was added to Zuora. In a second stage of deployment later this year, Zuora will be used to improve product packaging and bundling via an online quoting and acceptance process. Atmail's reseller partners will also have visibility of the company's product catalogue as well as their customer volume and can see all the latest product offerings and bundles available.
In addition, the Zuora subscription business platform will also provide Atmail with insight on customer growth, revenue, collection, churn and financial reporting. Financial information pertinent to performing month end procedures produced within Zuora will be integrated to the Xero accounting system at the general ledger summary level.
"Zuora will bridge the gap between our customers, the webstore and salesforce.com
"Zuora will give both Atmail and our partners the flexibility, agility and dexterity to adjust with regional pricing and provide a white label store for partners. As we scale, we have total confidence in Zuora's ability to provide a high value-add customer experience and conversation," said Johnson.